The GLOBE Legislators’ Forest Initiative (GLFI) seeks to strengthen legislation and parliamentary scrutiny functions in forested developing countries to support efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), promote Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), and safeguard the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples.
The initiative works directly with senior legislators to improve forest governance, law enforcement, financial scrutiny, accountability and policy coordination whilst facilitating progressive and early engagement of national parliaments with REDD+.
Phase I of the GLFI started in May 2011 and includes four countries: Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Indonesia and Mexico.
The initiative is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the governments of Norway and Germany.
The GLFI has four core objectives:
1) To establish a cross-party group of legislators concerned with forests: a central part of the initiative is to develop an influential, informed, and cross-party group of legislators in each of its focus countries who are actively committed to addressing deforestation and forest degradation
2) To strengthen capacity and improve understanding of legislators: the GLFI seeks to invite senior legislators to examine the existing forest policy landscape in their country, including the gaps in the existing policy and regulatory frameworks. The initiative works with a selection of national and international experts who will advise GLOBE legislators on what contribution they can make to national REDD+ strategies and SFM.
3) To coordinate an international dialogue among legislators: the initiative coordinates peer-to-peer learning, knowledge-sharing and relationship building between legislators from a leadership group of forested developing countries. Beyond this, the initiative also engages legislators from key “REDD+-donor” countries and from a wider group of forested developing countries to encourage South- South experience-sharing
4) To support the contribution of legislators in development and implementation of REDD+ and SFM: the initiative supports legislators to carry out their typical legislative functions in support of creating a successful REDD+ strategy and delivering SFM. This includes advancing or amending legislation that underpins the national REDD+ strategy and incorporates SFM, providing financial oversight of REDD+ finance to ensure that it is managed in a transparent and accountable manner, strengthening the coordination between national and sub-national policies, and developing greater coordination between all relevant government departments.
By working directly with senior legislators to achieve these goals the initiative aims to support progressive action to address tropical deforestation.
The main activities of the GLFI can be divided into three mutually supporting components:
Once a cross-party group of legislators has been established, a series of capacity building workshops are arranged to improve understanding and raise awareness of key REDD+ issues. This engagement also assists parliamentarians in identifying priority interventions such as advancing legislation, scrutinizing policy or reviewing budgetary processes. A central objective of the National Programmes is to promote a constructive dialogue between legislators and national REDD+ stakeholders, including national and sub-national government, civil society, forest communities, indigenous peoples representatives, and the private sector.
Research and Advisory
In order to encourage parliamentary engagement at the national level, the GLFI develops research materials aimed at assisting legislators to identify priority areas of action to support forest governance and REDD+. GLOBE is partnering with the IUCN Environmental Law Centre (ELC) to produce the “GLOBE Forest Legislation Study”. The study is being written by a team of national environmental lawyers and seeks to recommend options for REDD+ legal reform in each of the four Phase I countries based on a consultative process to key national stakeholders. In addition, research is being carried out to explore how the existing parliamentary oversight and scrutiny functions can be strengthened to support the equitable and efficient implementation of REDD+.
Although each country's national circumstances vary considerably, there is considerable overlap in terms of the challenges and barriers faced by legislators in their efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. The GLFI facilitates a number of bilateral and multilateral dialogues that allow legislators to share best practice and experiences. Recent events include the Forest Session at the 1st World Summit of Legislators, which took place in parallel to Rio+20, in June 2012; the 1st GLOBE Forest Legislation Forum in parallel to the UNFCCC COP-18 in Doha, in December 2012; and the 1st GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit in London, in January 2013, where a REDD+ Declaration was signed by legislators from across the GLOBE network.